The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability

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9780887307041: The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability

A visionary new program that businesses can follow to help restore the planet.

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Review:

Paul Hawken, the entrepreneur behind the Smith & Hawken gardening supplies empire, is no ordinary capitalist. Drawing as much on Baba Ram Dass and Vaclav Havel as he does on Peter Drucker and WalMart for his case studies, Hawken is on a one-man crusade to reform our economic system by demanding that First World businesses reduce their consumption of energy and resources by 80 percent in the next 50 years. As if that weren't enough, Hawken argues that business goals should be redefined to embrace such fuzzy categories as whether the work is aesthetically pleasing and the employees are having fun; this applies to corporate giants and mom-and-pop operations alike. He proposes a culture of business in which the real world, the natural world, is allowed to flourish as well, and in which the planet's needs are addressed. Wall Street may not be ready for Hawken's provocative brand of environmental awareness, but this fine book is full of captivating ideas.

From the Back Cover:

The world has changed in the seventeen years since the controversial initial publication of Paul Hawken's Ecology of Commerce, a stirring treatise about the perceived antagonism between ecology and business. Yet Hawken's impassioned argument—that business both causes the most egregious abuses of the environment and, crucially, holds the most potential for solving our sustainability problems—is more relevant and resonant than ever.

Containing updated and revised material for a new audience, The Ecology of Commerce presents a compelling vision of the restorative (rather than destructive) economy we must create, centered on eight imperatives:

  • Reduce energy carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030 and total natural resource usage 80 percent by 2050.
  • Provide secure, stable, and meaningful employment to people everywhere.
  • Be self-organizing rather than regulated or morally mandated.
  • Honor market principles.
  • Restore habitats, ecosystems, and societies to their optimum.
  • Rely on current income.
  • Be fun and engaging, and strive for an aesthetic outcome.

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Paul Hawken
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